marlene mountain
from the mountain/backward
section three

continued from ftm_backward_2


marlene mountain

from the mountain

overview     annotations



THREE: 1977-1990. Pages 196 to 232

Haiku translations 3 by Hiroaki Sato
in HAIKU IN ENGLISH: A POETIC FORM EXPANDS. Some of these haiku come from a sequence, 'seasonal haiku,' subtitled ''artists do not live outside their society' harry belafonte on radio cuba.' (September 1986.) In the spirit of dadaku I used TV weather phrases as season words and added 'unnothing special' quotes or comments about the world or myself. (Wind Chimes #22, Hal Roth, founding editor.)

labium contents
August 1977. The development of 'labium' most likely occurred on the same day. The one outlined appeared in Cicada 2:1 1978 and Impulse Magazine 16:1 Canada, the late Peter Day, guest editor. With text in 'A Woman Writes A Haiku Summer Day' Cicada 5:2 1981 and 'art as activism' Woman of Power #6 1987, Pia Godavitarne and Char McKee, coeditors.

Where were you when you realized that labium/labia, yoni, uterus/womb, clitoris, vagina, ovaries can be and are art? Was it when you realized that vulva has been called 'The Mouth of Hell' by the androcentric church and made into, shall I say, 'anti-female art'? 'Male art'? Or when you read the many post-matristic philosophies (from freudian to pornographic and from Greek to Chinese, etc., etc.) of the vagina as 'lecherous,' 'executioner,' 'devourer,' etc.? And as 'vagina dentata'?

Or was it when you saw the many powerful Paleolithic woman/'shevinity' sculptures? Numerous vulva shapes incised on cave walls? Menstruation/moon calendars? The continuation of female triangles and all sorts of 'nature' shapes on Neolithic woman/'shevinity'/animal sculptures and pottery? When you realized that it was the female presence almost exclusively which was made into art--into the spiritual--all over the ancient world where art has been found?

When you learned that portrayal of males is less than 5% in Neolithic times and next to nonexistent in the Paleolithic? Or when you saw a sculpture of a female with the head, breasts and vulva knapped from flint c. 500,000 years ago? [Marija Gimbutas, THE LANGUAGE OF THE GODDESS, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1989.] Rather than men's art of women as is usually presumed might not women, the informed, make art of themselves?

Or where were you when you realized that cunt is a beautiful, strong, positive word? That cunt is not slang 'but a true language word, and of the oldest stock'? Latin Cunnus, Middle English Cunte, Old Norse Kunta, Old Frisian Kunte, Basque Kuna. That many words from cradle (cunabula) to cunctipotent (all powerful, omnipotent) to cunning (to know) derive from cunt? [Michael Dames, THE SILBURY TREASURE: THE GREAT GODDESS REDISCOVERED, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1976.]

Right now that advisor might be saying, 'I thought I was reading a book about haiku. What's all this got to do with one-line haiku?' With haiku? Quite simply: new/ancient attitude and content, lots of it. (Unseasonalized and uncompartmentalized!) With one-line? I love one-line and quite simply: it doesn't interfere with content.

Have there been hundreds of years of deliberately or unconsciously missed content in haiku? Because a culture doesn't mention some subjects in public? Because of one gender's attitude toward another as usually defined by a culture's creation myth? Because some words, events, experiences of more than half of the world couldn't possibly be the stuff of art? When art has been made about women in 'recent' times has it been made by the uninformed?

What happens when a female or male begins to realize that the recovered and just waiting to be uncovered valuable material (a female word) suggests a once 'matrilogical' culture throughout the earth? (If 500,000 years ago, why not a couple of million years?) And then realizes that the female has lost much of her language, either ignored, inverted or made male? For example, the words 'idea' and 'concept,' the latter used quite often in these notes.

Idea is ''Inner-Goddess.' Occult tradition said an idea emanated from the Female Soul of the World (Shakti, Shekina, Psyche, Sophia, etc.).' 'Medieval theologians disliked the Idea's feminine connotations and turned away from the ancient theory of the eide to the astral theology of Aristotle, that is, to astrological determination of thoughts. Feminine 'idea' was replaced by masculine 'concept,' which used to mean the same as conception, from Latin concipere semina, a gathering of semen.' [Barbara G. Walker, THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYTHS AND SECRETS, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1983.] {Used by permission.}

That person might understand that if the female has lost language and symbols then everyone has lost them. Might wonder what else has been lost, misrepresented, suppressed? That person with new information and knowledge, with a new and different interpretation of our ancient past might conclude, among other things, that nature which includes human nature has been subverted. That the 'new world order'--that is, the new male-defined order/disorder which continues to worsen since its beginnings some 6,000 years ago--has turned us against ourselves, has denied us as nature and has denied nature as nature.

That person might begin to see that not only is our present approach to living not based on the natural way of the past but that the past has been intentionally obscured to validate the present. That person may say, 'what the heck?!?!!,' and just might get radical (at the root; as much as I love the word radical it too has tons of baggage so I often say 'rootical'), might get 'rootical' and start talking and asking more questions. Might make art out of such experiences, such moments keenly perceived. It can happen.

From Red Ryder coloring books to a pastel drawing of Elvis which horrified my high school art teacher to All Sorts Of Art (including, ahem, phallic) in seven years of college to some university teaching of art to not painting for eight years after painting for ten years to an unaloud haiku which spells labium four times.

When 'labium' was created that inner vision, that inner sensation, 'that inner rhythm which I assumed had shaped who I was as an artist' was shattered. Still when I wrote to Elizabeth Searle Lamb in the January 1978 P.S. about 'womanself haiku' (yes, self) I hardly had examples of what I meant. I hadn't a clue what I meant by womanself. But I did have a clue. I had so many clues that I was overwhelmed.

To think about expressing very much of this gigantic awareness in that little-bitty shorter/shortest poem, however, was unnerving. Yet in the September 28 1977 letter to my friend MaryEllen Ponsford after her August visit, 'Have been thinking a little more of the term 'vaginaku.'' Once one goes that far, spoken or written, a crow on a branch, a red stripe next to a green stripe, nothing special, hardly anything, non-content, white space and conceptualism just don't make it anymore. 'The Mouth' not of nonexistent 'Hell' but the Mouth of Female Content begins to open.

Since the advisor has already said get out of haiku and write free verse and I didn't, that someone not really listening could be saying, 'try tanka, it's a good place to put the personal, where you can get by with more than in haiku. Haiku isn't made for the personal, it's made for 'the spirits.''

This might be a good place then to say, 'pardon me, but now that I've come home to content I just might have come home to 'the spirit.' I doubt that there are any Japanese forms invented for this particular expression or in fact any American, Cuban or Greek forms. Since an existing or a potential form isn't the real matter being discussed why not just stay where I am?' Maybe I'd try it again and say, 'it's possible that I might have a 'haiku spirit' of my own. That in fact the Japanese haiku spirit (which of course was created by the Japanese for the Japanese and which of course drew upon the Japanese culture) might have missed many aspects of the/my spirit because of missed content.' As most relatively recent arts--several thousand years, give or take--have missed something.

Then I might wonder aloud, 'there is no haiku spirit but only the spirit of those who write haiku.' One does not say, well, I believe I'll write some 'haiku spirit haiku' today. Or write some haiku in the style of the haiku spirit. One writes as who one is. Of course who one is could be who one is after reading a lot of haiku philosophy.

The haiku spirit has been an enigma (a frustration even) to some of us (only me?) over the years. In spite of the various dadaku many of my letters and writings suggest a borderline reverence in the 1970s. During the 1980s, however, I had a rather non-reverent attitude including a 1985 pissed off poem sequence titled 'haiku spirit' (its three word/'two line' content ['pornography/fuck it'] also a 'stamp' painting). Among other irreverent yet relevant moments keenly perceived is the 1990 intimate poster (from the 'crone series') alluded to earlier, 'i've freed haiku from that fuckin sound of water.' (No easy task.)

I'd often felt that much of the developing 'anti' sentiment had come from the regular throwing off of past influences which I like tons of artists have always had to do. This of course does not come without a lot of (haiku) guilt. In the early 1980s, however, I was becoming aware that this was not the underlying reason but I could not pinpoint the change.

So it was with some surprise when Ponsford and I recently exchanged our old letters to find the forgotten beginnings of the transition. My September 1977 letter regarding 'vaginaku' continues, 'It's interesting to think about. I'd like to see what you would come up with. Perhaps, if the haiku spirit is expressed, in the right way, then there is no need for the term vaginaku. But perhaps vaginaku is necessary. That is, perhaps the haiku spirit could need it. Let's do some stuff & try to figure it out, OK?'

I knew something was missing in haiku--for me--but had no way of knowing how painful that figuring out was to be. Nor how much deeper that 'regular throwing off' had to go. Although I had identified with men who made art it was an elite and intellectual identification rather than any notion of wanting to be male. (Years ago Gloria Steinem said we thanked anyone who said that we thought like men.) An austere square or a stripe was as much mine to work with as it was for an Albers or an Olitski. (I didn't yet know of the symbolic--female spiritual--lines and shapes of the Neolithic.) As with the austere 'the heat' or nothing special in haiku.

My work was taken Seriously (Male Approval?). After all I was Serious (My Approval). That I was female in a male world (art or otherwise) was taken for granted. I had experienced it all my life. I was slowly beginning to recognize, however, a very deep feeling of discontent: it is an altogether different realization that I am female in a non-female world. Female in fact in an anti-female world. (In America male violence toward females is alarming. Every 15 seconds a woman is battered. One of every two women are/will be in an abusive relationship.)

In her 1947 THE SECOND SEX [Vintage Books Edition] Simone de Beauvoir writes, '. . . he is the Absolute--she is the Other.' One can't get more perceptive than that--and forty-five years later it's still true. On reading this (c. 1981) I was both disturbed and excited by being 'the Other.' And inspired. I began to research women's ancient symbols (that I'd missed in my education) which led to a painting series called the Other .

How does this apply to haiku? Can we paraphrase: his content is the Absolute--her content is the Other? R. H. Blyth has indicated as much. Or can we say: his content is the Absolute--hers too is the Absolute when it coincides with his? I will have to groan if the advisor says, 'but everyone can write anything she or he wishes.' (Anything? Not yet in haiku--as most don't wish to do so.) And 'not all males are alike and not all females are alike.' And on and on. That's not the point. If the advisor says, 'you can't tell which gender has written 90% of the haiku,' I would have to say, 'hummmm.'

Or can we reverse the negative connotation of 'the Other'? We could say: her content is 'the Other' if she is able to find it, to claim it, even to proclaim it, that is, to respect it. We could say that along with anything else she might write she can take 'the Other' as an invitation. The two lines in the P.S. letter to Elizabeth Lamb have haunted me to this day. 'Do we dare express how little we know about ourselves? Do we dare express how much we know about ourselves?'

I don't have a Japanese season word index but I'm going to guess that there's nothing about women bleeding every month. If there isn't I don't believe it's because of a monthly occurrence rather than a 'seasonal' one. I wrote 'first bleeding of the year' when that moment was keenly perceived. (Cicada 5:1 1981.) Although I had written 'grandmother's old quilt/a spot of blood/that won't wash out' (the old tin roof) and '17 red-circled on the calendar' (renga with Lamb and Pauly), I was startled to realize that not only is 'first bleeding' a real subject for the new year 'category' but that in some ten years of writing haiku it hadn't occurred to me that it is.

Other red haiku include 'premenstrual a deeper look into the night sky' and 'new moon: ishtar and i redden together.' And other 'Body Art,' 'in warming water labia opening' and 'ovulation fold of the mountain scattered with mist' and 'summer beneath my breasts.' To get a little ahead of myself, 'as nature we move into no blood into our deep rebirth.'

Blood in haiku. What is acceptable? Heroic battlefield blood? How about a mild-mannered protest haiku, considering the violence surrounding the event, 'clitoris of the four year old removed' ? (Wind Chimes #6 1982.) Has haiku been written about the blood of birth? Of menarche? What about Shiki's TB haiku? Is his content out of place? If one can accept blood spat from a male mouth one certainly should be able to accept the healthy blood from a female 'mouth.' In fact I think haiku is a terrific place for such moments. Such is the way of organic content, of organic haiku.

This is the poem, isn't it, of the here and now, of the moment keenly perceived, of things as they are, of suchness? Of what is happening in this place at this time and in that place at that time? Haven't Japanese written haiku with esoteric illusions and references to another culture? If of relatively recent China and Old Dead Poets* and their verses, their newish god, their spirit, why not haiku of old china, old africa, old 'turtle island,' old europe: of old earth? *Note, from a 1992 painting, 'because all post-matristic cultures in some way or another have disallowed all members to participate fully in all endeavors i find the term Old Masters not only highly offensive but without credibility. ['femail boxes and junk male.']

Why not haiku of our once famous ancient 'shevinity' who continues to exist in spite of a grand cover-up of major proportions? Returning to lost language and symbols, the most significant loss of all: the absolute reality of the female who gives birth, the 'shevinity' of creation, inverted to a lone male who 'gives birth' or kills the 'shevinity' in order to create from her spirit or body. And on and on.

It is spooky for me to realize that if I were not already creating unaloud haiku of plants and animals, etc. how 'labium' might have been made visual or visible. Even though 'violet' and 'toad' (page 194) are basically the same form, and the same process including a moment keenly perceived took place to make 'labium' visual, the similarity stops there. Nothing against toads and violets (I love them and their content) but 'labium' is flowing with content--and more content just waiting to be born. 'labium' is the underlying current, the mother haiku, the mother of my art.

Once one has had a true 'cultural shock' right in one's own culture, right in one's own mind, once the 'Mouth' is open and these events noticed and put on paper one's haiku spirit might look . . . I don't want to make light of this but one's haiku spirit might look strange in the 'we represent both sides' haiku magazines. (I've forgotten what those sides are.)

For a long time I have realized that I have no interest in art per se as compared with women's content. That now when content meets concept, look out concept. Some claim a hit by a zen monk--my 'enlightenment' came another way. Before the advisor has a chance, I'll ask, 'what the heck is women's content anyway?' And answer, 'that's simple, it's everything especially what has not been included or allowed as art or spiritual content in 'recent' times.'

Somehow the invisible would be made visual. The content is too powerful for it not to be. As integral as it is to our very being this is not to say that 'shevinity' or cunt or bleeding is all the available content of 'the Other' or that this needs to be one's everyday content. More significant than the making visible for me has been the very personal journey to recognize and recover my heritage and therefore myself as a new creative woman.

It is not a comfortable experience for a woman, for me, to begin to recognize same-gender art as such and to connect symbolically with a same-gender 'creator.' To recognize my covert sexism toward myself and quite likely toward women's creativity. To recognize my elitism, including haiku elitism, and to embrace previously ignored material.

I don't want to imply that I knew exactly what was going on during this period or during any other period which I'm trying to relate. I didn't say: oh, the old sensation is shattered and, oh, here's a new sensation. I didn't understand in those words or in very many words. Nor did I quickly say: oh, it's the 'shevinity' that I've missed in my life, have been deprived of. I don’t want to imply some kind of worship.

The spiritual was in recovering the neglected deep female (not feminine) in myself and in my art. In the recognition of an underlying texture, a web, that not only connected me with women artists around the world but was to stretch back over tens of thousands of years. And in the understanding that, Holy Cow, look at these lies and, Holy Cow, what a huge undertaking for 'cultures' to suppress a heritage which should have been a part of everyone. And, Holy Hathor, look at this amazing art and content!

After 'labium' I was worried, scared, confused, spooked--and thrilled. Before that I was groping along like I suppose many others in love with haiku were doing.

There are perhaps two ways to approach this matter of content in haiku: (1) introduce women's content of every kind into haiku and as it becomes accepted it then becomes on a par with all else that is nothing special (2) if it is not accepted dump nothing special and propose 'something special' or 'unnothing special.'

Has not the deplorable condition we have made of nature, professionalized and de'personal'ized as 'the environment,' which affects not only our lives but our art become something special/'unnothing special'? Perhaps it's easier for critics to decry environmental radicals/extremists than nature radicals/extremists. We could say: Hey there, don't touch that old growth forest--I'm a nature extremist, a radical nature haiku poet and very dangerous! Get out of my poem!

Yet how can a haiku nature poet see unnatural dying nature and not write about it? Of things as they (really!) are. Surely we do not write the shortest poem of escapism--even if that's a potential part of its 'charm.' Of all the approaches I've considered never once have I thought of haiku as an art of escapism. If I want to get away from the world for a while about the last thing I'd think to do would be to read or write haiku.

But what about this 'separation' in haiku, this women’s haiku? What message is given on 'Jeopardy!' when the categories are: women scientists, women in sports, women writers, famous women? Even women! (There have been a few men 'something' categories as Renaissance men--but can you envision categories called famous men, men in sports, in science and men? If the advisor says that's awfully picky I'd have to agree if that weren't one of seven billion examples.) Are these categories affirmative action? Or is the message: women--'the Other'--are quite separate in many ways from the mainstream ('malestream')?

One is not living in the real (unreal) world if one believes that women are not culturally separate. To look on the positive side such categories are meant to emphasize the accomplishments of women and when women are universally recognized and seen as regular participants the categories will disappear, maybe. However until then and to be on the safe side I think this is still a terrific time to write women's haiku--well, haiku by women is OK too, although I do make a distinction (Haiku Canada 6:2 1990-91). To encourage women to express our more personal content: 'went wild and wrote deeper inside.'

In the old days 'cabin yard/a car on cement blocks/the heat' was rather like a painting--not a painting of that subject but a painting of a rectangle as it relates to the surface and edges of a canvas. The content of this haiku for me was not of poverty (which it suggests) but of art orderliness (not cleanliness) and form (not composition). It spoke to an 'arrangement' or to an attitude which I don't quite understand. Some people relate to baroque music but will not listen to romantic or impressionistic music. Perhaps it's something like that.

Nor do I understand whether art creates within each of us a longing or whether there's an internal need which seeks a kind of art to satisfy itself. There is a certain sensation, a certain rhythm that one gravitates to, looks for. Not in every haiku and not in every painting or musical expression but in enough that one knows when it happens. Nor do I understand how this (embedded) inner sensation/need/rhythm can change almost abruptly. Or at least to occur deeply inside until one has a clue, the courage, a way to bring it out.

M/layer/my life contents
'yama/M' and 'layer on layer' (titled 'rite') and 'my life' March 1979
In September 1978 I came home to a note on the table. In November I sought and received a divorce. With an eleven-year-old son, no 'job' and winter coming on. Some time after that I found two cardboard squares and two rectangles with a piece in the middle of each cut out to fit as parts of boxes. I painted them red, I painted them labia. Wow, I was painting.

The slow process of beginning all over again not only in my personal life but with strange and new visual stirrings was at the same time painful and exhilarating. Haiku for a while seemed to be the most stabilizing aspect--whew, what a life if all of this haiku upheaval was the most stabilizing. As confused as I was about some things I knew that whatever was happening in haiku would work out--it had to.

A dear friend, Wanda Harris, who saw the haiku situation a bit differently from that of the ongoing advisor often said, 'Marlene, get out of haiku, it's patriarchal, it was invented by men for men.'  Coming as it had out of the androcentric culture of Japan it was not hard to agree. But, I'd always say, I've got to have one foot on something 'solid.' (Many times have I wished I'd taken her advice but I couldn't. Many times have I said my haiku are harder on me than on any reader.)

I'm not sure when (if prior to March 1979 [mm: I've recently found slightly earlier references]) or why (other than keenly perceiving the natural surroundings as female) the woman of the M--the previously nonsymbolic woman--began integrating her name with mountain. Here and on other scraps of paper and in a painting with the Chinese and Japanese character and words (san and yama respectively) for mountain. In first signing letters 'in the mountain' then 'from the mountain.' And with 'abstract' or childlike two-peaked mountain shapes which were to keep coming up in painting after painting until Marlene merged with Mountain. The shape (sometimes angular, sometimes soft) and the word: the home, the house, the womb, the heart, the vulva, the land, the nest, the spirit, the cave, the valley, the place.

At first the last line of the haiku sequence 'rite' was 'she changes her name.' A further keenly perceived moment and it became 'i change my name' (the 'personal is the political'). The one-line variations of 'my life' can almost be seen as a process sequence: to see oneself beyond the mist to the strength of the 'shevinity' as mountain and eventually to the strength of oneself. Although I once told Hal Roth that I often felt more like a gopher mound the internalizing of mountain as spiritual symbolism along with the moon as female affected me deeply. I had had such a lack of female symbols my whole life that many a run-over rusty bottle cap--as moon--thrilled me. (Recently through the writings of Dr. Marija Gimbutas I've learned that the M shape represents the great goddess in Neolithic 'writing' on clay objects; in Barbara G. Walker, M represents mountain.)

In May 1979 at the age of 39 with both a 1962 BFA (Outstanding Senior in Art) and a 1965 MA in painting I finally got a job through CETA as secretary for an improvisational theater company, commuting some 35 minutes one way. As difficult as times were and were to be I was highly charged because I had a highly charged content--and a new beginning. The strangest part is that some fifteen years later I'm still as moved as if that oh wow August experience were yesterday.

painting series 1 contents
199a '39' exhibition statement 199b arts article August 18 1979. Johnson City Press-Chronicle.
The article is loosely based on my exhibition statement. I wish I had indeed known where to find and to have read all those books but sometimes a glimpse is all that's needed. Long ago I had decided I wouldn't paint again as I realized I had painted myself out of the 'concept' of painting. Inspired, however, by the 'labium' haiku and the red cardboard labia art I surprised myself by getting panels ready and not only was I painting (February 20 1979) after ten years but as friends would later point out I was painting center-core images.

From here on haiku and painting got all tangled up (again). Whatever I would say about one could probably be said about the other. Because 'labium' is visual and symbolic many of the paintings in the first series[39] (and in so many others) were based on this center-core haiku. I also painted 'rite' in this series. Created with other paintings and exhibited in response to the 1982 non-passage of the ERA is the series, painted woman poems, thirty-six (plus the title) of my one-line haiku painted/written on narrow glass shelves found in an alley. In the 1987 haibun 'mad earths in my room' I wrote my paintings. A painting title could be a haiku: 'even in spring underlying melancholy' : a haiku could be a painting title.

'Pure art' (something none of us actually achieves but quite often talks about) which I'd worried about in one form or another since I was about seventeen got dumped. Red was no longer just red: it was female, it was female blood including 'shevinity' blood, it was female sexuality and female spirituality. Warm colors overlapped by cool colors for space interplay? Ho hum. I would use a variety of reds or only reds in paintings--did they clash? Who cares? Let's clash. Let's fill that empty space. A far cry from the white red green square rectangle stripe things.

painting series 2 contents
'moon peaces : earth peaces'
200a exhibition statement 202b exhibition photo.
200 arts article
Yet in the second series in 1979 the red and green combination was revisited--along with yellows symbolizing the moon. Although hard-edge and abstract in appearance the forty 'coded' paintings represent an autobiography of several months--a 'conflict' between physical and spiritual which amazingly resolved itself as I painted. Not only was content just waiting to happen, to be made visible, but I could barely keep up with/paint the developing symbols or the exploration of who I was becoming. I needed words. I guess I needed haiku.

sequence one contents
201a 'sequence : one' ('sequence' retitled) December 1979. 201b note from Eric Amann. {Used by permission.}
The first in a series of nine sequences from December 1979 through May 1980. It appeared in Cicada 4:1 1980; the seventh in Cicada, 4:3 1980; all nine sequences in Frogpond 4:1 1981, Geoffrey O'Brien, editor; and in THE HAIKU ANTHOLOGY, Cor van den Heuvel, 1986. Although Eric Amann accepted only two of these sequences his acceptance gave me some much needed courage--for a few moments. Since then I've felt as if I were on a big seesaw: courage to share then no courage--very disconcerting. Looking back 'naive' is a better spelling of courage. Ten years later I would write a two-line sequence, 'called brave for years by so many women/aren't you writing your real poems' --not from being brave or accusative but from a need/longing for companion writers.

1981 was quite a year for haiku. Unfortunately Roger Allard with his many eye-opening endeavors had dropped out. Unfortunately Eric Amann and Cicada were leaving but fortunately Hal Roth and Wind Chimes were entering. Unfortunately Lilli Tanzer with her many innovations was leaving Frogpond but fortunately Geoffrey O'Brien was entering. O'Brien's one year as editor of Frogpond was significant for me. Even way out here I felt an era of change, daring and excitement in the air. It was after the hullabaloo of the 1970s with our good and awful haiku and before the good, bad and tasteful haiku of the remaining 1980s. In my thinking tasteful is a sign the/our art is on its way out. At any rate it was an era/air I haven't felt since. [Until the one and only Raw Nervz Haiku edited by Dorothy Howard]

Unknown to me Hiro Sato sent all nine sequences along with a one-line renga we had completed to O'Brien. He also accepted 'innerview' (Frogpond 4:3 and 4:4)--a rather rambling self-interview on why I didn't write as I used to write. (Not unlike what I'm attempting here--an ongoing explanation primarily to myself.) The genuine encouragement given by O'Brien, Elizabeth Lamb, Hal Roth and the late Raymond Roseliep meant very much to me as I struggled to put what I could on paper (I know writers and I'm no writer) even though there might have been some reservations about my ideas.

I'm not at all sure how these sequences came about. There seems to have been a convergence of some kind. The series paintings and series love poems of the early to mid 1960s. The several 1969 through early 1970s three-line sequences. The 1974 'Japan Series' tear outs and related 'a japanese connection' (Cicada 3:1) in which one-lines were grouped. The unaloud haiku 'labium.' The transitional one-lines to Allard and the transitional one-line renga with Lamb and Pauly which led to 'thinking in' one-line and 'thinking in' women's content.

The August 1978 'female chant/sequence' (one-line repetition), 'i want my body back i want my spirit back.' The international 1978-1980 'womanspirit' renga with eight other women (Modern Haiku 20:1). The 1979 renewed interest in painting--in series of course but now with wildly different content. The sequence 'rite' as well as a few non-haiku poems. All this 'literary stuff' and female symbolism/reality--as much as I understood at the time--along with some 'extra-literary stuff' somehow came together.

In THE HAIKU ANTHOLOGY van den Heuvel says, 'These are not sequences of haiku or senryu--very few of the lines could stand alone as poems--but taken in context they give the kinds of effects those genres do.' Where Cor speaks of context I would say attitude. It is attitude not rules or even tradition that allows each person to accept whether a line or a link is a haiku. (I don't believe any of these to be senryu--bawdy or not.) Attitude is what makes any art possible. In fact I have my doubts that any Japanese or Western haiku really stands alone. Cultural attitudes have allowed a haiku to be a poem--if indeed that is the definition of a haiku. Changing attitudes allow a particular haiku or poet or topic (remember all those scarecrow haiku and Amann's term 'city haiku'?) to come into existence or to fade from the genre.

Basho's 'crow's settling on a withered branch autumn dusk' exists primarily because it has received tons of critical attention and zillions of discussions. Without all of that one could say that it's rather like a grade school poem. Could it exist around the world without the information surrounding it? To get it into the West some translators even had to make up titles or rhymes or add words and of course had to 'three-line' it. A recent dadaku, 'haiku out of japan out of itself' (after Nick Virgilio).

What surrounds a haiku (a context/an attitude) of course does contribute mightily to its energy. Also if we know a poet's circumstances we usually give the poems special consideration. Our willingness or that of a persuader (or of a culture) will allow a crow on a branch or a van den Heuvel's 'tundra' or a 'mountain   just the tip of me' to come into existence and be.

So with everything in flux I tried once again to make sense of haiku for myself. I did not intend--in fact tried to avoid--me/my activities as content. (A huge difference/difficulty when one does not intend but is compelled/propelled.) However as this 'new idea of the female'--a beginning awareness of the 'personal/political'--began to emerge it seems I had no choice but to write. It was not one-line itself that mattered anymore or minimal expression (these aspects had been settled and were no longer challenging) but a content which had been buried, hidden or unknown throughout my art years--throughout all of my life.

I didn't even know what had been buried and what would be explored. But as content expanded the majority of one-lines, now shortish to longish/shortest poems, spilled over and became absorbed into one-line sequences that somehow began to express: the experience of myself as a woman within the mountain as well as a woman within the larger world, unifying the past, present, old, new of one's there and here. And the experience of all aspects of body and creativity: as physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional and as protest. As women's haiku.

These are not divisions but realities of one's self and of a three-dimensional person who is not merely an observer of nature or life but one who is in the thick of it all--hermit attempt notwithstanding. Had I lived downtown without much 'nature nature' around would I crave it in my writing? There are all kinds of nature in the writing especially since I believe that humans are absolutely nature just as much as autumn leaves and stones and octopi are. Another recent dadaku, 'human out of nature out of itself.' (After me, after Virgilio.) And lest we forget plastic jugs are nature, come from nature--where else is there?

This business of humans (animals, mammals, real clues to who we are) having the ability to contemplate ourselves and all else is not evidence that we're separate and not real nature too. All forms of nature have something unique. Since humans have decided to classify and rate everything guess who is rated the highest? I'm not impressed with the thesis of separation or with the rating. Apparently what humans with our grand post-matristic and post-'matrilogical' uniqueness have done and continue to do to the planet will do away with humans. It appears that it takes real human brains--'homo idioticus' --to destroy so much in such a short length of time. Earth, I believe, can begin again--at her leisure.

coffee with page
February 1980.
The beginnings of some of the haiku which would appear in the 'one to nine sequences' mentioned earlier. The 'in rain' became 'in winter rain we kiss dry my suitcase closed.' Before I lost interest in NYC art (I'd had mainly through magazines and books) in the 1970s I could appreciate Vito Acconci's hair-plucking from around his navel as art. 'Body art' as performance or as happening or perhaps as 'pure art' or as concept. It was concept that I was drawn to. To see such a thing presented as art.

Shortly after I returned to viewing art (mainly through Heresies and Chrysalis) I saw two photographs of Carolee Schneemann's 1975 performance, 'Interior Scroll.' She is nude and bent at the knees and from her vagina she is pulling 'the serpentine manifestation of vulvic knowledge.' (Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics, #5, Spring 1978.) When I recovered from such a powerful experience I found not only an 'idea' which blew my mind but one with depth, meaning and symbol. Another recovering of the female's lost language.

Acconci's piece is maybe self-destructive or aggressive, anti-art or anti-gallery or anti-for sale. Schneemann's is of 'another world': the old earth. The powerful 'shevinity' of herstory. The birthing and the giving of wisdom. I wish I could have seen the performances of Schneemann and Acconci when they occurred or even the photographs side by side. I would like to think I could have seen the difference and the difference would have changed my life a couple of years earlier (every year counts).

One can move throughout one's entire life with ethical and esthetic values never challenged from within or without. The basic undertaking is to stay with them. We get comfortable and often dangerously secure. Rarely would we want to be like Sam on television's 'Quantum Leap': here's yet another new world to sort out. 'Oh, boy.' (Holy Cow.)

I cannot accept the simplistic views that contemporary Western haiku, renga, etc. are like games/sports with absolute rules--even though many of us have said 'let's play renga.' (Today's tennis and basketball games are not the same as first conceived and played.) Or that these 'forms' are like standardized crafts. Other than 'this is what art does' I would liken the poems to the natural evolution and quirks that enliven a people's language--sometimes to the dismay of 'purists' and 'authorities' (although no such people exist).

Art in fact has always been revisited. When an art is revisited by the next generation or is taken from its place of origin the inheritors/snatchers are not obligated to continue the essence or the exterior of an art if they become aware that it interferes with their spirit. (The Japanese are experts at revisitation. From Chinese/Korean/Indian ideas to Vivaldi's 'Spring' on koto.)

The bottom line of haiku is not sound-symbols (or seventeen syllables) but content/spirit/attitude. The bottom line of content/spirit/attitude is no longer just Japan's but once let out of the Islands is the world's--and more significantly (I feel) the individual's. Art can change intention as intention can change art. Indeed all the major and perhaps many unknown (unable to get published) poets/outlaws have radicalized haiku. Artists in fact are not obligated to or by any art rule. If we were there would be no such endeavor as art. No such endeavor as haiku. Even recreative artists (e.g., musicians) must have personal interpretations. When has it not been allowed for someone to interpret a painting or a subject differently from the painter? Or for a Cezanne not to come out of the teachings of a Pissarro with a whole new approach to land and space? The paintings of Georgia O'Keefe have been revisited by women artists who have found female imagery which she claimed she did not create. But it is there.

More often than not a new generation adds something to an art rather than takes something from it. Like a computer disk with saved material one can play around with the material, change words and ideas, can print the new material or--as the advisor might hopefully suggest--save it under another name. The original is still there, is not lost.

letter from Hiroaki Sato, November 19 1980, New York City.

The one-line renga Hiro and I were writing is 'outside the window.' From October 1980 through April 1981 through the mail. (Frogpond 4:2 1981.) The links mentioned of mine are: the sixth, 'form is form and emptiness is emptiness' and the seventh, 'autumn evening after splitting wood his wedge.' Hiro's, the eighth, 'divorce agreed upon, the house still shared.'

painting series 3 contents
'cave paintings'
204a femail  204b 3 woms

a woman writes a haiku summer day
essay (January 1981) Cicada 5:2 1981 Canada

you arrive
May 1981. (Wind Chimes #5 1982.)
For a while I titled each sequence as 'sequence' and was losing track. Sometime in the mid 1980s then editor Elizabeth Lamb asked that I give a title to one which would appear in Frogpond. After that I titled the new ones and retitled the old ones, usually by the first couple of words.

Quite often artists have seen ourselves as content: from the ancient 'shevinity' sculptures to the self-portraits and autobiographies throughout herstory and his/story. It is not so much out of ego but that we are handy to have around. Sometimes we have that third eye which is writing or painting our actions and thoughts and some of it gets on paper or canvas. Often we are so intrinsically bound up in what we are doing that we are really not aware that we are 'making art' of ourselves. Most of my haiku have not been deliberately written--the idea or the haiku comes and I have to search for my notebook (and a red or pink pen).

Yet have we really ever been autobiographical cut off as we are from our past? I feel all people have been damaged because we have (almost) lost our ancient heritage. Even more significant the earth has been terribly damaged since eyes turned from mother earth to father sky. Many of us, however, have begun to discover our original nature by, among many ways, reading between the lines of androcentric myths, by dumping the sexist, racist, classist and very misleading rhetoric in 'prehistoric man' and 'man the hunter' books as women lead the way to more accurate interpretations (this is very true), by researching root words and by looking anew at ancient art.

Women are understanding the integration of plant:animal:female that Neolithic women expressed in their art. We are not trying to go back to the good old days. We journey inward to the past, inward to the present, hearing and telling our stories. Nude or not. Painting or not. Haiku or not--but why not? Spirit, yes. Healing, yes. In a sense, all of the paintings and haiku since my new life began have been very much a part of a healing. Right now I hear the advisor mumbling, 'Female Propaganda and, dang it, intermixed with haiku comments again.'

I don't quite understand why there was so little art about men for thousands--10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 500,000--of years. A 1992 painting 'what does it mean that male imagery is absent for most of human existence.' It is also curious how little art there is that intertwines men and (other) 'nature.' There are the Egyptian paintings and sculptures with animal heads and human bodies and vice versa (perhaps a carry-over of Neolithic ideas) and the later satyrs and centaurs and other examples of course.

Alienation and quest, have these been the major themes of men? Is haiku a form of alienation? The poet as spectator, as detached, as uninvolved? As observer of 'other'? Is it odd to be so excited about something that one has to write (and all that entails) but has to squelch that very feeling and write as if one doesn't give a hoot? (It is quite an intellectual undertaking to get to 'mindlessness'--if ever.) Is all this OK? Is this neurosis or art, or both? Or is it something quite different?

A society's earliest existing written cosmogony/mythology is usually an account of major transformations and often incorporates several versions of how things were. It's principle function is to establish a new political order after the takeover even if/especially if it goes against an older oral tradition. The transformation is from--amazingly or is it?--female 'rule' to male, that is, from mother-birthing to father-usurpation of birth, from mother-right to father-ownership, from natural order to invented order.

As it pertains to haiku we might first note that the earliest extant arts in Japan are pottery, stone circles and primarily sculpture of females (by females I believe) from the Neolithic Jomon culture (ancestors of the indigenous Ainu) and then look to Japanese mythology (after some of the various migrations into Japan) for attitudes toward nature and culture.

KOJIKI (712 C.E.), the oldest surviving tale of the beginnings of Japan (which was commissioned by the ruler Temmu), is based on the account of a royal guild reciter, Hieda No Are, as written by Yasumaro in Japanese with Chinese characters. NIHONGI (720 C.E.), a more elaborate tale influenced by Chinese culture/mythology, is actually written in Chinese by Yasumaro. According to Merlin Stone--who offers a compelling underlying texture to the events--the versions vary in parts and even within NIHONGI one significant aspect of who births the sun goddess Amaterasu and when differs. [Merlin Stone, ANCIENT MIRRORS OF WOMANHOOD, Vol. 2, New Sibylline Books, 1979.]

Among the earliest personalities are goddess Izanami and god Izanagi. The prevailing account of one major cultural transformation is that of an unacceptable product--from the come-lately teller's/writer's point of view--out of the sexual union initiated by the female and the birth of Japan itself when the male initiated. That this product, a water serpent, was unacceptable is a clue in itself of a much older oral account, of a much older female culture. It relates to the many other and older world myths in which an ocean and/or serpent theme symbolizes a divine female creator. An even older tale might well have had Izanami as sole creator.

Had it not been the ancient custom for the female to initiate there would be no need to include this account in the myth! But a takeover has to include what is taken over. In my opinion we also see the male separation from 'nature as female' leading to the transformation of an aspect of nature not quite male but as revised nature. And following that, the transformation from culture that is female-based to male-based culture. Izanagi, repulsed by the scorched appearance of Izanami (female/nature) after her birthing of fire, flees in horror (or is chased away) and becomes the sole creator, that is, he births male culture and 'acceptable nature,' that is, he separates himself from what was.

Allan G. Grapard, in 'Nature & Culture in Japan' (Kyoto Journal #5, 1988, John Einarsen, editor, Harada Shokei, publisher), has a most interesting discussion on the beginnings of Japan based on these earliest written accounts. (Grapard gives the version that Izanagi births the sun and moon after his separation from Izanami and his ritual cleansing, whereas Stone also includes the account that they were born from Izanami even before the unacceptable serpent.)

Professor Grapard writes '. . . all the divinities of nature are born from the lower orifices of the feminine deity, whereas culture all the divinities related to culture (social structure, control over the seas surrounding the islands, grounding of legitimacy) are born from the head of the male divinity. Sex stands on the side of nature, whereas culture is represented by the processes of purification which are by far the dominant characteristics of Japanese ritual behavior, and a characteristic of Japanese life in general.

'. . . Japanese mythology makes extremely clear distinctions between the world of nature and that of culture, and that this opposition is marked by the events surrounding the appearance and the controlling of fire. But it should also be pointed out that the processes of purification responsible for the appearance of culture are all taking place in natural surroundings, and it is there that one must look for the particularly Japanese dialectic between nature and culture . . . fire holds a double characteristic, being violent on its nature-side (volcano) and potentially violent (sword) on its culture-side.

'The divinities representing the powers of fertility in agriculture are all born out of substances which are themselves lukewarm (appearing just after the birth of fire) and representative of processes of change and natural transformation: decay, digestion. Thus nature has, in Japanese mythology, an ambivalent character: though it looks beautiful, it is also the realm of change, decay, and putrefaction, to which is opposed the purification of culture. The feminine deity represents the rotten, whereas the male divinity represents the pure.

'This 'rotten' and repulsive characteristic of nature remained in the perceptions of the Japanese for centuries, but it was also forgotten sometimes in the favor of a view advocating the beauty and the purity of nature. This is especially the case after centuries of processes of purification of nature at the hands of the cultivated people who invented gardens and flower arrangement, and the other great arts by which Japan likes to identify itself on the international cultural scene.

'It might be said that what has been termed 'the Japanese love of nature' is actually the 'Japanese love of cultural transformations and purification of a world which, if left alone, simply decays.' So that the love of culture takes in Japan the form of a love of nature. It may be said that traditional interpreters of Japanese culture have failed to see this point, blinded as they were, perhaps, by a Western romanticism which is out of place.' {Used by permission.}

I have not seen discussions within our small group of North American haiku devotees about the complexity of older and often buried attitudes out of which haiku came. (I have been struggling to write about this since 1988.) When I have referred to non-genderless haiku I am speaking of an art based on the male concept of nature which is a watering down (rather a cleaning up) of female nature. I am also suggesting that contrary to continual references in haiku theory that haiku must be 'intuitive' that haiku actually stems from the 'intellectual' decision of distancing. That this 'nature-based' poem in reality derives from the male separation from the rawness of nature as female, from nature and female.

And that to set up a 'new tradition' (whether in art or society) rules must be formed to keep that separation in tact. That to Order and Organize nature with her often natural 'violence' and her natural decomposition (the 'mess' of birth, death, rebirth) she must be tamed. That with an elaborate system of compartmentalization and purification, on one level at least, she can be controlled/contained. (Nature who 'just does' and who 'just is,' although often difficult to call 'it,' is neither violent nor pretty but can and does destroy people and aspects of culture which happen to be in her natural path. (Natural disaster might better be renamed natural occurrence or disaster to people, etc., or people-causing disaster such as erosion and flooding from clear-cutting, etc., etc.)

To the matter of the dialectic that nature is female and culture is male. Male culture is relatively new and a far different 'concept' than original culture. I would add to the previous list of male 'accomplishments' (but not call any of it culture but rather inverted culture as Neolithic evidence shows a social 'structure' built around an already ancient female deity and mother-based legitimacy) required to establish a new global order after such a separation (in varying degrees and at varying times and places): patriarchal domestication, breeding, ownership. (If this were not a book of one-line haiku I would say of the list: first of animals then of women.) All this of course leads to war (to protect and gain possessions) and to more technology which leads to a high-tech (bigger and better) 'civilization' which although glamorous in many ways is its own downfall.

In spite of an almost global reversal from matrilineal and -focal groups to patrilineal structures (which began to appear only some 6,000 years ago) ancient societies still credited the female and/or goddess ('shevinity') with culture, i.e., with the invention of language, agriculture, writing, law, building, weaving, music, calendars, measurements of length and time, pottery, visual arts. The Sumerian Enheduanna (c. 2300 B.C.E.) is the first known poet--with her praises to Inanna--of record in herstory/history.

We only need to look at the roots of many words to find that culture came out of female activities and, in particular, out of motherhood. An example of one aspect, 'Sanskrit matra , like the Greek meter, meant both 'mother' and 'measurement.' Mathematics is, by derivation, 'mother-wisdom.' 'Root words for motherhood produced many words for calculation: metric, mensuration, mete, mens, mark, mentality; geo-metry, trigono-metry, hydro-metry, etc. Women did temporal and spacial calculations for so long that, according to the Vayu Purana, men once thought women were able to give birth because they had superior skill in measuring and figuring.' [Barbara G. Walker, THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYTHS AND SECRETS.] {Used by permission.}

But to the matter of propaganda. If we are in the 'malestream' at any level, even if we don't embrace it, we talk its language, we make its art. When a male speaks or creates more likely than not he is speaking male content because that is what relatively new culture is based on. Male Propaganda. And more likely than not when a female speaks or creates she is speaking Male Propaganda--without even knowing so. In my case I said it and heard it and quoted it and taught it. It's 'natural.'

At the very deepest level, however, content and attitudes toward content might well be gender-based. For example, there are no warring weapons in (female-based) Neolithic Old Europe and a well-documented emergence of them as the patriarchal Kurgans (See Gimbutus) invaded. But since models for almost everything in non-ancient times have been male-oriented, women have had much of our content and attitudes trained out. Many a woman has spoken of having to 'translate' herself into The Great Books, The Masterpieces, The Philosophies, i.e., into the Man, He Discussions on Almost Everything and of having to rationalize why 'woman, she discussions' are of little interest (art of course being genderless).

Many a woman has also spoken of the energy it takes to do all of this
continually--before and/or after the realization that she has done it most of her life. She has reached the point where it is not worth the effort to keep training/translating herself in. (What, give up all her hard work and hard-earned recognition in the Male Art/Culture System?) She is discovering 'other' ideas, themes, perspectives, attitudes. Content which she and other women around the world are exploring and making visible. Indeed, looking back on what many of those Discussions actually say (after the 'male-colored glasses' are off) it's not such a large step to say, 'you're damn right, I am 'the Other.' Wow.'

Is buddha (a quest) male propaganda? How many non-buddhists (including Western haiku poets) have written about buddha? What about Issa and the comments on the texture of his life by critics? Are his autobiographical haiku a form of male propaganda? And Shiki's outbursts on haiku--did/does anyone say, 'oh, no, more Male Propaganda'? Are not many of the works of Bach and Michaelangelo propaganda for a male deity? Have not tons of male artists created for prevailing patriarchal governments, 'religions' and patrons?

It's difficult for us to hold our beliefs under direct sunlight and just get 'rootical' about them. Really see them and find out where and how we got them and why. To realize how many opinions were embedded and accepted before we could even talk. And how many other beliefs we got from just hanging around, let alone going to school. Around 1965 when a friend mentioned Betty Friedan's THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE I paid little attention. It seemed irrelevant to my life--after all I was an artist not a female artist. I've wondered a million times since if I'd read the book (I still haven't) or even better listened could I have grasped female information. Or whether I would have remained defensive and protective of my art and cultural stances.

It's also very difficult to sweep our minds completely clean of current cultural and individual biases in order to see new/old material that is introduced. Propaganda, because we are rarely aware of our own, is what someone else believes and is therefore alien. (What if we'd grown up with archeological evidence available today?) However I'd be flattered if someone were to think that I 'do' Female Propaganda. (I do prefer to 'do' content rather than to 'do' art.) But really what I'm attempting here is to relate some experiences and thinking which have had a profound affect on my haiku journey. Which have become the background and the foreground for my writing and painting.

In fact it was the opening up of content beyond my rather narrow, minimal, tight-assed view that has kept me in haiku whether I wanted to remain or not. Or whether anyone else wanted me to remain: but why not send these 'interesting' poems to women's magazines, etc.?--meaning please don't call them haiku. It's not uncommon for writers to write ourselves out of what we are in. Perhaps it's less common to write oneself out and yet stay and at the same time say this is haiku as I see it for myself.

the day contents
207a 'the day too' notebook page 207b the day/nothing 207c 'i'm committed' and 'nothing'
June 1981.
In April 1979 shortly after I began to paint again I got a bound sketchbook for painting ideas. I lived beside the sketchbook (as I once did with a camera) and put my ideas and life into it. But it wasn't until June 25 1981 that I got my first bound notebook or any steady notebook for haiku. (First, fourth and fifth pages shown.) Small enough (4 x 6 inches) to fit in my pocketbook it was with me a lot of the time until I ran out of space in September 1984. Three years of ideas and 'stuff' jotted down while I was driving to work or wherever I might be.

Every so often over the years I'd look at lines in a current notebook which hadn't been published and gather related haiku for a sequence. Occasionally a new line or two would pop up as I'd arrange and type them. I often preferred to leave a 'fragment' alone--maybe a fragment was all I could grasp--and let it be in a sequence. Perhaps this attitude allowed me to see a fragment itself as a haiku. And a statistic as a haiku. To see cartoon cusswords and other 'things' as haiku. And quotes, as Hiro Sato has often had for renga links (as was done in old renga). I call such quotes 'talking haiku.' Other sequences would just flow out into the notebook almost finished.

This is part of the development which led to the two one-line sequences 'i'm committed' and 'nothing.' I sent both sequences to Hal Roth of Wind Chimes. Although he said he would like to print them he couldn't because of the young readers. Sometime after that he changed his policy, however, these are two that got away.

He suggested we put out a book of my haiku and include these and some of the other women's poems I'd written the last couple of years. For a while we worked toward it with his title 'a poem, woman' (the title of one of my non-haiku poems) but for a variety of reasons the book didn't get published. Most of all I would look at the material and say, 'that's not enough, I've not said it yet.'

I wanted something raw, something loud. I couldn't find it in my writing. Even though a haiku might spook me at first it would begin to sound tame and I'd be disappointed. (Surely by now the advisor has realized that I call what I write haiku.) I had been given so much energy and meaning from art/content by women that I wanted to return 'something' in a huge, meaningful way. I could say that differently. I had been given so much energy and meaning from haiku by others that I wanted to return 'something' in a huge, meaningful way.

Sometime around this period I began to dislike all of my past haiku. They said absolutely nothing which is not quite the point of haiku but close to it. I was already disappointed with my serious, younger painting past. Why had I been enamored by this guy's art and that guy's concept? Why had I loved and been so excited by the ideas that I'd once pursued and dreamed?

To be serious, to pursue difficult art, to learn 'languages' of other artists, to try to open one's mind, to want and ask for more. I had come to all of this from a rather innocent background. I'd accomplished a lot. I'd even arrived--intellectually--at 'hardly anything' in both visual ideas and haiku. So what. It was all wrong, I had wasted the years.

I blamed myself for being above the real world, that is, for not dealing with the problems of the world--in haiku, in painting, in whatever. Back in 1964 I listened to the moving voice of Bob Dylan and his songs of poverty, war machines, coal mining, injustices. I was painting rectangles and stripes. In rural Georgia I listened to Dylan and chain gang songs and argued for civil disobedience and protest marches that were happening all over the country. I was thinking concept and minimalism. Art was where I lived, life was another place I lived.

'found sequence: a gathering 1981
Then to top it off after I'd dumped my past things, by 1981 I was embarrassed by my current haiku. The women's haiku. What a small amount I'd written. So quiet. So safe. Where were my anger and the other good emotions to go along with what I'd been learning and understanding? So what if I'd occasionally mentioned some of 'those things' in haiku. If I had written and thought and painted all the wrong stuff all those years and was done with all that where was the real stuff? Surely I could do better. But I wasn't one who could just settle in at a desk and write. I had to be grabbed by something that wouldn't leave me alone until I'd written it or it had written itself. A million things had grabbed me still it was tough to find that flow into words, into haiku. Who me taken in by the haiku spirit and all?

Almost a decade later I decided to look through a current notebook and without really reading type all that I had scribbled down that year which had not been in a sequence, renga, or otherwise published. No editing, nothing, just as is. Had I said anything? I was still asking. Then I decided to do another year, whatever was there, under whatever mood or influence. Then I whewed and gulped through all the years from June 1981 (when I had gotten a notebook) through 1990. It didn't matter whether a fragment, statistic, versions of a haiku or whatever. There was no intention to publish 'a gathering' but just to look at what I'd said each year. I have to admit that I was a bit unnerved at a lot of what I'd written. Intermixed with haiku was much information from the news and other sources that had disturbed me--enough to make a notation in a haiku notebook.

But it wasn't so clear to me in 1981 as I was putting myself down for being so 'slow' that I was beginning to say it/something. Just the word 'yoni' as a haiku said pretty much. 'yoni' with its Sanskrit definition became a painting. It also became a play title which Rebecca Ranson and other women produced in Durham, North Carolina using some of their material with other of my haiku and poems.

And 'our triangle' which I don't imagine many people saw or could know (out of 'context,' out of attitude) that it does not mean a love triangle or the bible trinity. It is the female triangle, the vulva, in ancient spiritual art as well as the triple phases of woman: maiden, mother and crone who comprise the triple 'shevinity' (a long, long time before trinity was male). It is our triangle, symbol, ancient heritage. Women have reclaimed it. There were a few other words as 'womanslaughter' (with its odd ambiguity), an understatement I think but pretty strong for a haiku, one word or not. Yet what else could one add? A season word?

Still from what little I had written I would feel self-conscious. I had been accustomed to sending haiku to the journals all these years, to sharing. Now 'this' is some of what I write, what I anguish over. A conflict, a feeling of being trapped by haiku, stunted, even strangled. Did other poets feel this? So many had quit over the years--was that why? (Or did they just outgrow haiku as I often joked?) Did others in haiku have something personal to share? I felt I knew more about Issa and Shiki from their poems than I did about poets in the journals.

Would one's very personal experiences encourage personal haiku by others or a dialogue about content in haiku? Even if some felt as I did would their haiku get past a cautious editor? Would some readers say that my moments keenly perceived were offensive and didn't belong in a haiku magazine? A few readers did say that as a couple of editors would tell me although over the years I've only received maybe 3 or 4 unhappy letters. But one can get a bit paranoid. I've yet to get over the 'cold feet blues' but, perversely, I've occasionally sent things to magazines just to see how they are turned down.

distracted sequences
Written May through July 1982 (Wind Chimes #7 1983). A great parody/dadaku, 'Abstract Sequences,' by Gloria Procsal appeared in Wind Chimes #9 although unfortunately one segment didn't get to Hal Roth in time for the printing. Hal who had come into my life at the right time (1981) gave me--gave all of us--an opportunity to have some 'uncomfortable' haiku printed. He certainly didn't accept or agree with everything I sent over the years but I felt I had a fair chance, when I had the nerve. By October 1982, spooked or not, I was able to say in a card catalog, 'haiku, untamed haiku, beyond untamed haiku & more'. How tame that seems now.

Jason Wills to president Reagan page

2 one-line haiku sequences 1/83

a new day
you arrive dark

too much pain contents
212a notebook page  212b 'too much pain' sequence section one

January 1983, notebook page February/March 1983, 'one line sequence' April 1983. (The latter in Wind Chimes #11 1984.)
It has been difficult to get back into much of this material and relate it in these pages. Beginning in late 1982 I began to feel unwell. I would leave a cold house, drive 35 minutes in a cold VW, work in a cold office, get back in a cold VW and come home to a cold house, if I weren't snowed in or out.

I often typed all day and if I had any energy I'd paint many evenings. (One series was a painting a day for a month.) [working mother's painting series] Maybe write some haiku. And tend to the problems and worries. As good as it was to be around the acting company and their intriguing art and ideas I could not talk much about my content. Not the real female stuff I didn't think. I was still trying to understand. And not just the content but the profound experience which I doubt can be explained.

As it would later happen the company included some of my haiku and other poems in a couple of the plays. I am grateful for the friends who too were on a journey or who could listen to mine. But in truth I felt more isolated than I'd ever felt. (Far, far more than the self-isolating content of red and green paintings and photographs of rust.) Almost everything was still bottled up inside. Something was bound to give. Although I'm a little more able to give people the benefit of the doubt and not anticipate their raised eyebrows it's still not easy having seen the moving eyebrows as I have. In the early 1980s as I began making haiku 'femmarks,' the forty 'equal, hell art' cards and other things I had a swell time at the printer's and photocopier's. Nothing has ever turned out right or ended happily.

One day in January 1983 I came home terribly cold. I got in bed and asked my son to put blankets on me. He rounded up all of them but I was still freezing. He put on throw rugs, anything. At that time the whole floor of the bathroom was being torn up, down to the dirt, because it was rotting out. My job yet again was in doubt--it seemed everything was breaking down or falling apart.

By the time I got to the doctor in February I had numbness in the two small fingers of each hand and numbness from my waist down so that when I walked my legs and feet didn't seem to belong to me. And the pain in my hands was unnerving. By the time I saw the neurologist in March I was weak and had such awful pain in my hands that I was unable to drive.

I had packed a suitcase to be brought to me and arranged for my son to stay with the friend who took me to the doctor. Just in case--but I knew something bad was up. The neurologist said he didn't rule out a brain tumor, a spinal cord tumor or MS. In the hospital I was put in a room on the operating floor, a surgeon came by to talk with me in the middle of 20 zillion tests, uncomfortable and/or painful.

It was all strange but the strangest part to me was that haiku about the experiences kept running through my head. I could hardly wait to be taken back to my room so I could scribble what few haiku I could remember in the little notebook, e.g., 'brain scan just don't mess with my radical ideas.' (In truth I could hardly wait to get back to my room period.) I was there from the 9th of March through the 12th when a friend brought me home on a cold, snowy night. I felt I'd been away four hundred years and too many nights.

I was still weak and had trouble holding anything in my hands and I still had extreme pain in my hands, arms and a band around my chest. I was ready for a sledge hammer to put me out of my misery. My diagnosis was 'MS suspect' (of possible, probable or definite mine was probable) and has been since--another aspect of the body (e.g., eyes) must be affected to drop 'suspect'--yet everyone said I had too much pain for MS. [At present there is more understanding of unique symptoms and categories more sophisticated.] Pills didn't seem to help but a friend led me through an amazing visualization which relieved the very worst of the pain. And later other strange visualizations just happened, and helped.

I pecked out some haiku (as much as I could decipher in the notebook) on the 'tapwriter' from the hospital stay and following weeks in sequences ('too much pain they keep saying') to send to friends as a 'letter.' Hal thought I'd also sent it for consideration in Wind Chimes and planned to publish it in two parts. I thought about it but backed out. Finally toward the last of April although I still had pain and plenty of fear and confusion I was able to drive, wash my hair, work in the yard, get a little of my humor back (as in the April 21st sequence) and paint (that was my biggest concern).

In November 1982 I had begun the painting series, the Other, which had been interrupted by all this stuff going on. I got back into it and finished in June 1983 (twenty-nine paintings). In July I began another series, in circles toward healing: visions, down times, affirmations, journeys (sixteen paintings about some of my experiences).

At the top of the February 1983 notebook page is a phrase (regarding THE WOMAN'S BIBLE that revised 'the man's bible' in 1895) I'd read which, given my haiku spirit, I saw as poetry, as a haiku already written. It became a one-line in 'moon sequence' (Wind Chimes #11 1984) as the phrase by Simone de Beauvior became a link in a renga with Hal Roth ('Beware of Women's Issues,' Frogpond 6:3 1983, Alexis Rotella, editor). A circled 'r' means renga, the initial is the writing partner (here a/r is Alexis Rotella and Ruth Yarrow).

Those on 3/3 read: 'i hurt like hell (there is no hell heaven soul)' --whew, at a time like this I'm concerned with hell being a fabrication. And 'i do not cry she says crying.' (The 'personal' not always easy to admit.) The first line of 3/9 became 'just a little after hello he says i've got something' in the 'too much pain' sequence.

one line sequence

painting series 12 contents
'in circles toward healing: visions downtimes affirmations journeys'
214a statement 214b paintings

3 sequences early morning/married/you arrive dark
November 1982 & January 1983 (Wind Chimes #8 1983)

2 sequences unfinished painting/don't stew
November 1983

mountainhanging sky

why do i write what i write

Both written in January 1986. ('mountainhanging' Wind Chimes #19 1987; 'why do' Wind Chimes #20 1987.) Is 'mountainhanging sky' Female Propaganda? It surely looks like it to me. These are gathered moon and mountain haiku from other sequences and renga with new ones added. The sequences on these two pages and those on the following two pages include many of my 'themes' at that time.

Those who have followed the painting series and the haiku sequences through the 1980s have seen a mixed content which might seem to be at odds. One year I painted and showed the series, she is one and she is two: signs from the ancient, quite minimal-looking images based on Neolithic symbols and designs in Marija Gimbutas' THE GODDESSES AND GODS OF OLD EUROPE [University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1982]. At this showing a Native Woman involved us in a ritual to bless the earth, each other and all of life.

Another year I painted and showed the series, cross words, again a quite minimal approach. Stark in only black and white each painting contains a form related to crossword puzzles (although not as dense) on which stenciled letters form words from American 'speech'/slang which degrade women (therefore all people, all nature). At this showing, a double exhibition, we constructed a tiny room within the gallery space for the thirteen paintings. A viewer would go inside to a chair and be surrounded by the words. There was a blank panel with a pencil hanging from it for the visitor to write other words she or he did not appreciate. Ingrid Hayes and Jim MacMillan, coached by Lowell Hayes, presented a dramatic reading of the pissed off poems and every word in the cross words.

This is not unlike what happened in my one-line haiku sequences in the 1980s. A 'mountainhanging sky' and a 'free country.' Or a sequence about love and another to throw the bums out (or a worse disaster for them) and so on--maybe all written the same day, week or month. The 'switch' in subject matter is not two sides of the same coin or two sides--light and dark--of me. It is all the same. It is that moment keenly perceived, whether in the news, in bed or 'out in nature.' It is that moment when one is keenly grabbed by life. When art and life are not (as) separate.

The painting series and the one-line haiku sequences relate in another way. Within each there is a unified or overall form (or shape) and content (or theme). There is no attempt to 'leap' out or to change directions. The process simply continues until the material runs out for that series or sequence. Renga-leaping too, for me, is to leap within a given content or context. To stay long enough to find some of what is there. Perhaps to go 'deeper inside.'

pissed off poems 9 sequences
Nine sequences from pissed off poems and cross words. The fifty-three sequences in the book were written from September 1985 through January 1986. A few were prepublished in Wind Chimes #18. The cross words are sketches for that painting series. The book was self-published in 1986. Printed/Botched in Elizabethton and then botched twice by another printer in Johnson City some of the books still remain, I guess, unfinished at the latter 'printerr's.' (If this title[pop&cw] were not already taken it would be a perfect title for a book of 'printerr' tales.)

I don't know what was so different about the fall of 1985 on NPR news programs and a few other sources but it seemed like a lot of things were happening in the world that, well, pissed me off. I was 'tapwriterless' for quite a while so I was sending handwritten and copied sequences to a few friends. In an October note to Hiro Sato I said that I had been trying to write through these feelings but just when I thought I was at the end I'd hear something that would set me off again. And that Basho was lucky he didn't have a radio.

Also I was trying again to read Mary Daly's GYN/ECOLOGY: THE METAETHICS OF RADICAL FEMINISM [Beacon Press: Boston, 1978]. The information about the atrocities which have happened and are still happening to women across the centuries and across the world is staggering. Daly has a one-of-a-kind language to present ideas. Her ongoing reclamations of words (crone, hag, et al) to their original powerful connotations is amazing.

Some people have the erroneous belief that what 'those feminists' or 'those radicals' are doing has no relationship to the real world or to them. Many a woman, however, has turned many a department of 'whatever' upside down during the last twenty or so years. What, not look at art, literature, science and religion through 'male-colored glasses' anymore? These are some of the areas where the most damage has occurred, especially in anthropology and archeology where the most unscience (racism, sexism, elitism) has occurred, where the most lies have been told. In history too.

It appears that the female points of view including ecofeminism have been called back out of dire necessity and in all likelihood by earth to envision radical social change. To test and question the prevailing theories. Or better still, called back by 'eartha' who recently said of the same old new-order theories, 'just dump them and give a big 'shecackle' from me.' (Now, she's 'rootical'!!, even 'rudical.')

This situation is not unlike the time that attitudes toward past cultures stemmed from the bible (as well as a curious male-birthing of the world--at least in translation--and a need to subdue nature). When cuneiform, hieroglyphics and Linear B were discovered and translated old history had to be reassessed (ironically the sophistication and symbolism of other cultures were often sources for the biblical writers). And as more sculpture--the variety and complexity of females and 'shevinitys'--is discovered and 'rootically' reassessed old his/story is being replaced by a remarkable ancient herstory. A remarkable ancient 'ourstory' even.

painting series 16 contents
she is one and she is two: signs from the ancient
august-september1986 (16 paintings 25" across/octagons, 15 small triangular paintings
220a titles  220b exhibition statement

I have mentioned being a woman in the larger world. With radio and TV news and such we are witnessing (practically experiencing) each disaster to or extinction of people and other nature all around the earth (and in space). The larger world is small. At one time I believed ('who knew?'--we didn't know until we were told) that the here and now is where I am and only what I am allowed to write. (Is this haiku 'rule' egoless or egocentric?) Now I see that the here and now is also what I'm able to be aware of, able to perceive. Unless we are writing hobby haiku (my spelling is 'hobi' to relate to the Japanese concepts of sabi and wabi) our content is large.

The 'poetic' attitudes many of us held in the 1970s (egolessness, oneness and so on) that are stuck or snuck on no other kind of poem that I know now sound less like interesting concepts and more like authoritarian guards disallowing feelings and personal journey. Surely haiku is personal journey. (I now groan at The Path and The Way.) It's even more disheartening now in the 1990s to continue to have regimented 'scholars' and self-appointed managers/agents of Old Dead Poets who say what haiku was and therefore what it is. It's as if art had grown a mouth to inform a chosen few. All of us should have the opportunity to find out what art is, what haiku is and to make our own. We are entitled to the process.

I'm hoping that my use of art is understood as creativity rather than Big Art. I have said art more in these pages than I have in my whole life. My favorite spelling of it is 'rrt,' a handy attitude I learned from a friend in the early 1960s. Perhaps, however, Big Small Art is how haiku is often perceived: an achievement, a nice 'fact' of nature captured in a nice style. I have often felt that creativity, an unknown, is a dangerous word in haiku.

Where once I thought narrowly I'm now more open--hopefully--to what can be. This opening up has allowed me (only recently) to accept my past expressions. To forgive myself for such a negative attitude toward them. I've had to recognize how the earlier approaches have enabled me in the current writing and painting. That who I was and how I thought helped and/or hindered me to be who I am now. After all a takeover has to show what was.

Looking back it seems (again whatever the quality) that I was first a conceptionalist in haiku (nothing special and empty space being concepts) and then a contentist (I'm guessing by now it would be redundant to say 'women's'). 'Women's content' rather than a narrowing is really an opening up, an embracing. This embracing of content/attitude has been the major conflict I've had with haiku--or haiku with me.

Does one make an intellectual decision to continually study and stay within the confines and complexities of a borrowed and translated art--which is old-fashion to many Japanese--and get better at expressing within them? For whatever reasons (knowingly or unknowingly) does one just do what one does with the 'art' following along or leaping ahead into the unknown? The bottom line--I feel--is whether one perceives haiku as a creative art or a recreative art.

Simplistically speaking from my mind's eye: the first several years, concept as content, then content as concept, rather as idea. That is, I came to haiku visually and conceptually but soon was led to believe that haiku are 'concrete' images of nature yet I had trouble shaking off my original view. Later when I was re-understanding in an entirely different way that haiku is indeed 'concept' I wanted 'real' content.

All along I--all of us, with or without 'I' or 'ing' and regardless of definitions--have been somewhere inside the haiku ('are we enough give or take the trees?' ). There seemed to be nothing else to do but take haiku along with me as I began to write of even more personal experiences and feelings--with neither 'selflessness' nor selfishness in mind.

'belly up/pushy/pissed/mine
Written in June 1987. (Brussels Sprout 7:1 1989, Francine Porad, editor.) Traditions can be the worst tradition people can have. Some are deadly as widow-burning, some are life-threatening as infibulation, some are seemingly innocuous as 'my' team. I have a tough time believing (1) A Westerner who claims to be in the tradition of Basho. Might we be writing 'haiku a la translations'--so well done that they resemble Blyth's work? Ironically some contemporary Japanese English-language haiku are in three lines and have this look/feel to them.

(2) A Westerner who wants to be in the tradition of Basho three hundred years ago. Who can really live as he did? Do we demean Basho by imitating his translated haiku while living in more comfortable conditions? (3) That Basho today would want anyone to be in his tradition--he might well have dumped the master cloak. (4) That Basho's own content/spirit/attitude would be the same in today's world.

Saying that I might as well add that no amount of haiku by Basho (et al) and interpretations by Blyth (et al) can convince me that these are my models for haiku or 'the spirit.' They wrote and translated and understood from their perspectives and cultures--how can any of us do less? Are we to write 'elderly haiku'? Obviously our world isn't the same--in Basho's day golf balls hadn't been hit from the moon and space littered with trash. Would he, like many of us, be pissed about that?

One could say that 'classical' haiku is largely based on artificiality with predetermined code words and attitudes. It can be and has been written as if poets have skipped over or backed away from 'real reality.' It appears to me that today we are faced with different responsibilities as we examine reality--whatever that may mean to each of us--within our cultures or in spite of them. I want to say different haiku responsibilities but I'll just imply it.

mad earths contents
222a haibun, 'mad earths in my room'
4 'mad earths' from painting series 17
222b mad earth one : malescholarshit  222c mad earth two : powwar
222d m e 2 detail  222e mad earth three : bureaucrazy

222f mad earth four : naycheer  222g m e 4 color

A haibun, 'mad earths in my room' written October 28 1987. Photographs of four of the 'mad earths' from a series of eight paintings, the great mad mother earths plus a glad, September 1987 to August 1988. (The mads, 4 x 3 feet; the glad, 5 feet 8 inches across, diamond-shaped. These four 'mad earths' and the haibun were published in Poetry Canada Review 11:2 1990, Maggie Helwig, editor. [All 8 in Raw Nervz Haiku 1:4 1995 Canada, Dorothy Howard, editor])

At the same time that I worry about traditions I feel a strong undertow from way back, way back when. It is a song so real that it's inside me. But I also hear the primal scream of that first woman subjugated, that first woman denied expression as the--I have to say it--'pricktriarchal' (post-matristic) new order began. I call right back, 'I hear you, 'wom'!'

some late 1970s to 1990 one-line haiku

Richard Evanoff interview contents
interview 224a 224b 224c 225d color photo of mm 1986
'Haiku Goes West' and 'The New Haiku, An Interview with Marlene Mountain'
Excerpt from 'Haiku Goes West' and 'The New Haiku, An Interview with Marlene Mountain' by Richard Evanoff (Tokyo) and 'The New Haiku, An Interview with Marlene Mountain' with Richard Evanoff (Kyoto Journal, No. 7, 1988). {Used by permission.} In the former piece Evanoff refers to my September 1986 'Haiku And Nature And The Nature Of Haiku (Once Again).' [See Hiroaki Sato, HAIKU IN ENGLISH: A POETIC A FORM EXPANDS, 1987 and Modern Haiku 19:3 1988, Robert Spiess, editor.] In the interview the sequence, 'Fishing,' is the first published, the second written of what I've found. (The unaloud haiku here and in anthologies are not correctly spaced. Amann, in Cicada, is the only one to have achieved this.)

hominid writing contents

225a when there was fire and small talk
225b page when there was fire and small talk
225c dawn lap
'when there was fire and small talk' Unfinished writing and sequence from January 1988. In the text the word transliterations should be literal translations. Of the other words I'm not sure. Footnotes: '1) AN INTRODUCTION TO HAIKU, Doubleday Anchor Books, New York, 1958. 2) 'wom' is my spelling of woman--getting away from 'woman' as a diminutive of 'man'--or is it that 'man' is a diminutive of 'woman'?' The sequence was later revised but not resolved.

three for late august 
One-line sequences written in August 1989. Mirrors 3:1 1990. When Mirrors, 'non-edited' by Jane Reichhold, appeared, well, WOW. Each poet has a whole (big) page, like a canvas, for whatever haiku and related material we have on our minds, for whatever we want to discuss and however we want it to look. We do not 'submit' or send it out over and over for a 'judgment.' We are our own editors. Wow.

Jane came into my life maybe a few years after the right time or as I agonize about the books and struggle with these annotations a few years too soon. If it weren't for her interest and creativity I wouldn't have begun and if not for her patience and energy I wouldn't have stayed with it this far.

The reference to tonight i am mountain is the leftover title of a book of my sequences that Rod Willmot and I considered c. 1983/84. For a variety of reasons, including I still hadn't said it, it became a non-book. Rod's interest was sparked in part by a couple of unintentional fragmented lines in the 'too much pain' sequence.

protent page

painting series 18 contents
228a mm painting 228b solstice card 1989

'bring a candle
with anne mckay.
A one-line renga written through the mail from October 1989 through December 1990. (Lynx, a quarterly journal of renga, Autumn 1991, Terri Lee Grell, editor.) Had this experience of women's art never happened I might have had it made, in a way. Perhaps I could have written to someone once in a while and said, let's do a renga of hardly anything. Or maybe challenged someone to write as close to 'nature nature' as we can get. Even though this might be able to happen now it would be a 'head' renga. Not a heart and cunt renga.

When someone asks me or I ask someone to write renga I first want to know if she or he likes and will write one-line renga (I'm not sure I can write two- and three-lines anymore.) Then, humor me, I really don't want to write 'regular' renga but want to get personal (I prefer the intimacy of a two-person renga), maybe nag a little. And don't want to leap in the accustomed manner, do you?

found sequence: a gathering 1990
Some of the one-lines are versions of renga links as in the sentiments of 'save male face' as war talk began (how polite I was). The word 'she a nirk yuu' is a dadaku which somehow formed itself from the two words above it. Perhaps those two could be called 'serious [giggle] dadaku' as they are the words haiku and senryu (as popularly defined) meshed. That is, nature and her activities and humans and our activities--even bawdy--are meshed, one in the same.

Some of the lines in the gatherings and in other writings express a frustration not only with the unlimited limitations of haiku but from years of The System of Submission to which poets (artists of all kinds) are Subjected. A haiku turned down by one magazine wins a prize in another, etc. Editors and magazines come and go and a poet's spirits are elated or crushed by the conservative, liberal or egalitarian views of an editor. (Haiku poets come and go and an editor's spirits are elated or crushed by the conservative, liberal or egalitarian views of a poet?)

Haiku involvement is expensive: subscriptions to just a few small magazines, stamps, SASEs, entering fees for secret-judge contests, so many haiku books with often opposing reviews, etc. Rarely space for a rebuttal for something said of one's work. There is the thankless job of an editor. The thankless job of a poet. Etc. Aside for all of that sometimes a primal scream--which I like to call 'wom's punk haiku' --is necessary.

rites of
A one-line sequence written January 2 1990. (Lynx, a quarterly journal of renga, Spring/Summer 1990.) Even before the 'croning' in December 1989 as I turned fifty I liked to refer to myself as the first (admitted) crone of haiku. Since I can't be an early hominid as I'd really like to be I've also called myself a nag of 'naturized haiku and haikuized nature' as well as one who is 'croned off' about imposed or, more accurately, self-imposed colonization in haiku.

the end contents

One last question: can we discuss without calling opposites, 'haiku in content' and 'content in haiku'? The earnest essayist/definer/et al who feels obligated to pin haiku down and is dismayed at the rampant poems called haiku might find an ally in Alaskan governor Hickel who said in December 1992: You can't just let nature run wild.

Although I've written myself out of 'form,' tight-assed content, concept and haiku definition I've yet to write myself out of haiku itself. Perhaps this is because I still have a healthy amount of sarcasm (and darn it love) toward it. I believe all the more that if it can't be done in haiku then that's a pretty good indication that it ought to be done. I've found that it is necessary (and a good feeling after many scary feelings) not to like what I used to like and not to think as I used to think. If nothing else 'empty space' is created for whatever comes next.

from the mountain



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